Guitars

Guitar Idol: The Steve Stevens interview

Guitar Idol: The Steve Stevens interview

IN THIS ERA of social media, where artists can communicate directly with fans via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube video diaries, guitarist Steve Stevens calls himself ‘old school.’ He speaks to the media by telephone and in person because it’s what he’s used to. “When I first started with Billy [Idol], I remember the first press junket,” he says. “We went to England, and Kerrang magazine was the first thing I did. The only way you could do things was to travel to another country. Then we went to Japan and did press, and in Japan they have you do twelve interviews a day. You couldn’t even think at the end of the day, but it makes an impression. Especially now, we have a new record coming out, so there’s something to talk about and we’re excited about it, so why not?”  more...
Collings Guitars… Made To Order

Collings Guitars… Made To Order

WE ROLLED into the Collings Guitars complex west of Austin, Texas, on Highway 290 the morning of ‘Salsa Day’. It was the day when employees would bring in their own secret recipe salsa for judging by their peers and company management and, we suppose, ultimately reign as the guitar maker’s Salsa Champion, at least for 2014. Regrettably, we were not asked to judge.  more...
EMG: The 30,000 Square Foot Garage

EMG: The 30,000 Square Foot Garage

IN AN OFFICE park down a dead-end street in Santa Rosa, California, is a 30,000 square foot garage - home and headquarters of EMG Pickups. It’s not a garage in the traditional sense of roll-down doors, automobiles and mechanics, but in the boutique mindset of how this 37-year old company operates. It was, after all, started by founder Rob Turner in his parents garage, so it stands to reason that the practices and procedures established in the mid-1970s simply expand along with the company - at least, as much as is reasonably possible.  more...
Hello Portland! A tour of gear shops in the Rose City

Hello Portland! A tour of gear shops in the Rose City

DREAMS OF THE west coast usually center on the warm and more glamorous climbs of southern California, with its miles of scenic beaches dotted with quaint, comfortable coastal burgs offering equal amounts of sunshine and serenity. Let’s face it, as you move north along the Pacific Coast Highway things start to get dicey. The sun fades in a cloak of persistent gray and a general gloom becomes the harbinger of the days ahead. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest!  more...
Cardinal Instruments: One Direction

Cardinal Instruments: One Direction

TUCKED AWAY just east of I-35 in Austin, almost directly across the interstate from the campus of the University of Texas is a small housing community with its roots in the 1920s. Some of the houses have been converted to small businesses, be it a coffee house, small engine repair or something similar.  more...
Cilia Guitars: The Artist on Alfred Rd.

Cilia Guitars: The Artist on Alfred Rd.

CHARLES Cilia became obsessed with guitar in his early teens. By 18, he had moved to Sydney, joined a band and was playing in clubs and pubs. Cilia was working for NSW Agriculture in their entomology labs on scientific experiments during the day and then gigging at night with his band. Having tried to get his guitars set up by various so-called ‘luthiers’, only to have them come back no better or worse than they were in the first place, he became frustrated and decided to start setting up and adjusting his own guitars.  more...
The NAMM Notebook: 2013 edition

The NAMM Notebook: 2013 edition

WELCOME TO sunny southern California! Er, well... not exactly. NAMM show week in Anaheim was a chilly, wet affair effectively putting the damper on the show’s big plans for its new outdoor promenade leading to the main entrance. The stage was set the morning of Day 1, but stood empty. The weather would eventually break and allow a scheduled run of concerts, including the first evening’s headliner Tower of Power. But what happens outside plays second fiddle to the happenings indoors.  more...
The *bleep* guitar-maker of Sacramento County

The *bleep* guitar-maker of Sacramento County

YOU CAN THANK a shitty economy and a wandering mind for the birth of Kauer Guitars. Working with his father in his 5,000 square foot carpentry shop in the Sacramento suburb of Elk Grove about five years ago, Doug Kauer grew restless. Making good money as a cabinet maker (kitchen variety, not amp), on top of a healthy tranche of side work and a lingering business selling hot rod car components on the internet, Kauer was on cruise control. Eying his first house and getting serious with his steady girl, life was humming along nicely. Then he started building guitars... and the bottom fell out of the American money machine.  more...